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Drew Bixby

TEDCRED 10+

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A self-chosen class system of citizenship to encourage participation

You may cringe at the term "class society", but hear it out. These classes are fairly distributed since they are based on individual's choices and actions.

Many people do not participate in their citizenship. People who choose to participate should be rewarded. People should be encouraged to participate.

1st class: those who participate.
2nd class: those who simply choose to exist (default).
3rd class: those considered (by jury) to be a danger to society.

Being part of 1st class is simple. Do all of these each year:
1) Be 18 or over
2) Vote in any election at least once a year
3) File tax forms for the state and federal governments once a year (even if taxes are zero)
4) Payment of taxes as shown on the tax form
5) Serve on a jury when requested for a set number of days per year.
6) Fill in census information for everyone in their household annually.
7) Check a box saying that you agree to abide by the constitution and laws of the government.
8) Check your opinion of the government - confidence, neutral, no-confidence.

Note that all the items above can be obtained by anyone. Technically, most are required anyway, but many people do not do them.

It would be legal to discriminate based on class. Companies or organizations can offer financial rewards, discounts, benefits, and coupons to first class citizens. Insurance companies can offer lower insurance rates. Welfare and other government benefits are limited to 1st class citizens. These would be incentives to be a first class citizen.

The government would be required to have at least say 30% of the population be 1st class citizens. In addition, over 50% of first class citizens need to vote better than "no-confidence" for a current government to stay in power. This last part is the most non-violent way to overthrow a current government. And, government would need to encourage and support it citizens.

Other requirements for 1st class citizens? Changes? Thoughts?

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  • Feb 20 2011: I personally think this would be a great idea; a way to encourage people to participate in their government, as well as an new check to governmental powers. Though I do not know how well it would go when being proposed, people tend to not like hear what they have to do, even if they do not technically have to do it.
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    Mar 17 2011: What would happen to the children of those in the lower classes?
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      Mar 17 2011: Children (say under 18) would be 2nd class citizens (the default). Citizenship is an individual determination. What do you think?
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    Feb 23 2011: I don't really see your list of citizenry as complete or authentic--its rather debatable. In my mind a citizen is someone who participates in their community and is allowed to do so. (NGOs, non-profits, Greenpeace, Conversationalists, preservationists, environmentalists,...) Active participation is activism, education, health-care, outreach, getting involved--even volunteerism. If you don't feel the need to lift up your neighbor and your neighbors neighbor you are not part of a community--you are against it. Health care for example is a universal human right. If one is not active in one's community promoting community actions and lending a hand, raising awareness, one is not an active citizen. In most countries, even America--active chieftainships--well, just simply --citizenship is forbidden, frowned upon, derided, punished and meets police-action, riot control, tear gas, rubber bullets, lead slugs, tazers, sound-weapons, pain-rays, incarceration...

    An elected representative should be a model citizen, not a corrupt corporate-aristocrat going on of his/her way to dismantle community and society. Most US representatives are noting more than anti-American, and anti-humanity--and traitorous to the people, to the principles of the nation, and the idea of community and citizenship. if we are going to revoke citizenship we should start by revoking war criminals and outsourcing criminals and elitist criminals--bankers, the health-care industry, weapons manufacturers, Halliburton, the Carlyle group, BP (if you're British...

    In my mind, it snot enough to pay taxes and sit on a jury--that's equivalent to nothing.
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      Feb 24 2011: I agree that paying taxes and sitting on a jury are not enough. I agree that people should do more. This approach does not limit what people can do. What it does do is highlight those who at least do that minimum. It rewards and encourages them AND provides a means to remove the current US representatives if a certain percentage of the population agrees with you that they have "no confidence" in them.
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      Feb 24 2011: What other criteria would you recommend adding? Keep in mind that the key to the ones above is that they are all completely obtainable by everyone and there is no question about them. They either did them or they did not and each item is provable one way or another. Also, they are all consistent and in accordance with the Constitution. (Please correct me if I am wrong on that point.) So, given these guidelines, what additional criteria would you recommend?
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    Feb 22 2011: How could something like this be implemented? Thoughts?